hist-games: Tarot in England from the late 1500s?

webmaster at historicgames.com webmaster at historicgames.com
Sun Oct 7 07:39:14 PDT 2007


Quoting Michael Hurst <mjhurst at earthlink.net>:

> In any case, there appear to have been (assuming Pinkerton's
> interpretation is correct) Tarot cards produced in England in the late
> 16th century and recognized as a permitted game and a desirable social
> skill (for young noblemen, who might well play the game when abroad) in
> early 17th century England.


Quoting Michael Hurst <mjhurst at earthlink.net>:

[Hide Quoted Text]

In any case, there appear to have been (assuming Pinkerton's
interpretation is correct) Tarot cards produced in England in the late
16th century and recognized as a permitted game and a desirable social
skill (for young noblemen, who might well play the game when abroad) in
early 17th century England.
  Interesting... the references I've read have all claimed that tarot  
games never became
popular in English-speaking countries. It would make sense though that  
James I's Court
might be more familiar with them through Mary Queen of Scots time in  
the French court.

I have always wondered if they were seen as too "Popish" or too  
"idolotrous" in their
symbolism by the Puritans and the Commonwealth period and therefore  
never caught on. But
it would make sense that some of the Royalists in exile during the  
English Civil War may
have played them while abroad and brought them back at least among the  
upper-classes with
the increase in gambling in Restoration period.

The question is what surviving style of cards would be best to use if  
you are a English
reenactor wanting to playing a tarot game "on stage?" Perhaps  
something along the lines
of the 18th century Tarot of Marseilles? I dislike the Marseilles deck  
we sell because
the swords and the wands are hard to tell apart for many people.

Chas
--
MacGregor Games
http://historicgames.com




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